When a 3-year-old boy told his parents that a stranger was talking to him at night, they were confused and concerned. After investigating, the parents were shocked by what they discovered.
Sarah and Jay became worried when their son told them that he was taking to a man in his room every night. They watched the monitor in their son’s room at night, waiting to see who was talking to him. Nobody was in the room, but suddenly they heard a voice say: “Wake up little boy, daddy’s looking for you”.
The parents also heard the voice talking about them when they went into the room. They saw the camera moving, following their movements, but they were not in control of it.
The parents quickly contacted the baby monitor company and asked what was going on. The company told them that it was possible a third party could have hacked into the monitor. The hacker could have the ability to control the camera from his phone or computer, but there was no way to track down who was responsible or where that person might be located.
Baby monitor hacking has become a problem in recent years, following the rise of baby monitors with Wi-Fi connections. There have been a number of stories similar to Sarah and Jay’s.
An Indiana mother says that she heard the song “Every Breath You Take” by The Police playing over her daughter’s baby monitor, followed by “sexual noises.”
In another incident in Texas, parents say they heard a hacker’s voice through their 2-year-old daughter’s baby monitor. The voice called the toddler “a moron,” among other insults.
Vikas Bhatia, a cybersecurity company executive and father who researched the issue while shopping for monitors for his own baby, says that parents should take these incidents into consideration when shopping for baby monitors.
“The first question I would ask anyone who is buying a Wi-Fi enabled baby monitor is, ‘Do you specifically want to be able to access this monitor from outside the house?’… Most of the time, I hear, ‘No,'” Bhatia said.
A HuffPo piece by Jenna Flannigan tells parents who do purchase a Wi-Fi enabled baby monitor that they should make sure that the manufacturer is proactive about updating the product’s security and make sure that passwords are strong enough to prevent hacking. She explains that most baby monitors come with preset usernames and passwords that may be accessible through a simple Google search, and that changing the default settings to custom network names and passwords helps prevent hacking.
Flannigan also suggests regularly updating software on baby monitors to stay up-to-date on the latest security upgrades.